LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Attorney General’s Office is warning people to watch out for scam artists while you fit in some last-minute holiday shopping.
“Every single day we receive phone calls of people falling prey,” Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said.
Rutledge said there are three types of scams people are falling for this year.
The most common complaints are “Secret Sister” gift exchanges.
“It sounds great, it’s sometimes being posted on a friend’s page,” she said.
This scam will likely tell you to buy a gift and send it to someone within a large group of people also in on the exchange. But Rutledge said there’s a chance you’ll never receive your gift.
“The con artist is taking all of those,” she said.
Fake charities looking for donations online is also a big problem.
“It’s no longer just making phone calls claiming to be someone they are not or holding out a card asking money for charity. Now people are holding out those cards on Instagram or Facebook,” Rutledge said.
To see if the charity you are trying to donate to is legitimate, go to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website. Type in the name of the organization and if it is real, it will show up as a registered charity. If it does not pop up, it is best to give your money to someone else.
“Do your research on a charity before you give money over the phone before you give out your credit card information,” Rutledge said.
Rutledge is also seeing strangers asking people to buy gift cards, and in return, they say they will pay you back. But this is, of course, a scam, too. So, make sure to check twice before handing over your money this holiday season.
“Talk to your mom, your dad, your aunts and uncles, and grandma. Make sure they are aware of these scams. You may be at home thinking who would fall for this? Folks do every day,” Rutledge said.
If you feel you’ve been scammed or even if you feel like you’ve come across one, report it to your local police department as well as the attorney general’s office as soon as possible.